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Tue Nov 28 13:26:00 EST 2017

CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW

Call: 9Y4/VE3EY
Operator(s): VE3EY
Station: 9Y4/VE3EY

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: Trinidad Island
Operating Time (hrs): 46

 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
  160:  404    15       52
   80:  771    20       73
   40: 1405    28       97
   20: 1873    29       93
   15: 1387    24       92
   10:   63    10       15
Total: 5903   126      422  Total Score = 9,525,884

Club: Contest Club Ontario


Here went another ‘out of suitcase operation’ again.   Like in previous
years,  I travelled alone and short of the power extension cord, I brought
along everything.

On the good side �" no power outages. I had hydro power all the time
during my stay. My score is almost identical to last year’s though, but this
year I had twice the power (1K versus 500W) and I operated 4 hours longer.
‘Butt-in-the-chair’ counter indicates I was active for 46 hours.
>From this perspective I actually did worse this time.  I felt that high band
conditions were not as good as last year.  I am not sure if the reason is the
lack of high band propagation or the fact that I had to relocate the SteppIR
vertical further inland to make space for a beach wedding which took place on
Saturday.   I found myself number of times running empty handed on high bands
even for US which normally yields an endless stream of callers on 20 and 15. 

My two hour break time was divided equally between one hour nap time at the
keyboard and attending to a Low Band vertical at 3am local time when SWR
suddenly went up from nothing to 1:4. When I went out to the beach with the
flashlight I could not see anything physically wrong with the antenna.  I
fiddled for some time with the L/C matching box and the best I could do was to
bring the SWR down to 3.5 which at the far end of the coax showed as 2.5.   I
ended up using the ATU on the SS amp to be able to continue on 80. I suspect
the problem has something to do with the coaxial relay used to switch between
80 and 160 but the autopsy is still pending. 

When everything is factored in, and having operated like this four times from
this place, this is likely as good as it gets (for me).  Next phase to
improving the score would be to add a second radio and everything that comes
with it.  This is obviously easier said than done.  Out of 170Lbs of stuff I
keep hauling between the airports, my personal effects allowance is 4 pounds. 
This means I can take a toothbrush and 3 T-shirts on a weeklong rotation.   I
briefly made an attempt in talking my wife into coming along to increase weight
allowance, but her response was brisk:  ‘Fool me once,  shame on you,  fool me
twice �" shame on me’  and that was the end of it.   She is still very
supportive of what I do, but she is not eager to have much part of it.  

All in all I enjoyed the event very much �" especially the feel of doing
this on the low bands.  They were in great shape.   

Rig:  One K3S/10 and Expert 1.3K-FA amplifier. 
Ant:  Top loaded vertical for 160/80 and SteppIR vertical for 40 meters and up.

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